Thierry Henry: Arsenal legend praises Mike Flynn and Newport County

Thierry Henry and Mike Flynn
Thierry Henry and Mike Flynn have been exchanging texts throughout the season

Newport County's great escape from League Two relegation last season earned them a new supporter, legendary Arsenal striker Thierry Henry.

Henry, Arsenal's record goalscorer, is doing his coaching qualifications in Wales alongside County boss Mike Flynn.

Flynn took over with the Exiles 11 points adrift in League Two with 12 games left, but kept them up.

"Michael Flynn is the big man," Henry told BBC Wales Sport. "He made the impossible, possible."

Flynn told the BBC in March that Henry had been following County's fortunes and the French Wold Cup and European Championships winner says he became passionate about following the Exiles' progress.

Only a last-gasp goal from defender Mark O'Brien saw County preserve their Football League status on the final game of the season.

"I didn't think it could be done, even though I wished Mike luck I thought 'that is going to be a difficult one,' Henry explained.

"The situation they were in and yet he made it happen. I don't care what division you are in, it is a remarkable, remarkable achievement.

"I was looking at every result for Newport right up until the end of the season. I will follow them even more next season.

Henry and Flynn

"He made it happen. He did it his way, he is close to the club and good people deserve what they get.

"The guys responded to him as well, it is amazing, 11 points adrift, 12 games to go, amazing.

"He couldn't sign any players and that is why it is magical, he had to make his guys go on a mission.

"A good general needs soldiers. His challenge was to stay up and he did, which is still unbelievable for me. Now the club need to build from that."

Welsh fans 'proud' again

Henry believes Welsh football is enjoying a boom period, helped chiefly by Wales' fantastic Euro 2016 campaign which saw them reach the semi final.

Swansea City also joined Newport this term in completing a relegation escape, ensuring a Welsh side will play in the Premier League next term.

"I see people being proud about football again in Wales," Henry explained. "People are being proud and loud about football.

"The Welsh national team is doing well, the youth team is now invited to Toulon, the final of the Champions League is here, it is exciting.

"But the most important thing is that people are proud of their football here.

"What Wales did at the Euros has no price.

"Rugby is very important, but now there is another sport. The national team is the window for that and when they do well, things follow.

"Gareth Bale says the most important thing is having the Dragon on his shirt and people can relate to that."

Top Stories